Visiting Saudi Arabia, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has reportedly pressed the oil giant to open its resources to more investment from his country.
Saudi Arabia is already Beijing’s biggest source of imported oil.
China also buys a lot from Iran but is thought to be concerned about future supplies amid international tension over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work.
Tehran has threatened to block a vital Gulf shipping route if sanctions are imposed on its oil exports. It has warned Arab neighbours not to raise their output in the event of an EU embargo.